Questions for Windläufer
Q. Hello, my name is __________ and I'm writing to inquire about your dogs. I have been studying your website and I would like to know what procedures or policies you have in place to make sure each dog goes to a good home. I'm considering adopting a German Shepherd sometime in the future and I want to find a breeder who cares about their dogs enough to be choosy about to whom they sell their puppies. If you can give me any information along these lines, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, I would appreciate any information you can give me on your facilities and breeding practices.
A. This is a question I do get often so I have taken the last email with this question and posted it here in hopes that it will answer most of your questions in this area. If you still have questions, feel free to call or email us.
To your 1st question " what procedures or policies do you have in place to make sure each dog goes to a good home"
Normally, when someone is interested in our puppies, they initiate the contact just like you are doing. We communicate through email or phone calls, we find out what the prospective family has in mind for their new family member. Do they want a show dog, working dog, etc. As we progress, we do prefer phone calls so I can talk with each person and get a good feel for what they are really wanting from a German Shepherd, have they ever had a GSD, if not, how much research has been done, what preconceived ideas do they have about this breed?
There are a lot of questions through general conversation that are usually answered without having to ask formal questions. I used to have puppy questionnaire's on my site to download and fill out or to have handy when talking to me, but, when you have raised this breed or any breed as long as we have, you get a pretty good feel for people through talking with them.
We always like to have prospective families come visit. It will give us a better idea of what they are really looking for as well as giving the family a chance to meet the adults and interact with them.
We have a strict policy that if at anytime a puppy or dog is not working out, we are to be contacted before any decisions can be made about the dogs future. Most of the time, the dog is returned to us (this has happened about 5 times in the last 20 years) so we can find a suitable new home for our baby. That is how we look at our dogs, they ARE members of our family and we care deeply about their welfare and happiness as well as the families happiness.
As for our facility, we are a very small "kennel", in fact we are downsizing our breeding girls. The puppies are born in our home and when they are the appropriate age, we transfer them to the puppy room (with their mom) that is in our attached garage which is climate controlled. It is not a state of the art facility with wonderful new runs and birthing rooms, we are not that big to begin with, but we are clean and our dogs are loved and well cared for and we always have our Vet on call and they are willing to give any references should the need arise.
We breed only European lines, we always have hips/elbows done, we DNA as called for and we are now doing the DNA for DM. We strive to breed for health, conformation, temperament and longevity. Do we ever have a dog that does not measure up in the hips or has some health problem? Yes. No matter what you do or how good your dogs hips or health is, there is always that possibility, just like with children, you can have 5 perfectly healthy children and then you have a child born with a blood disease or a health problem that you just can't explain why. If any one tells you that their dogs never produce a puppy with any problems, either they have not been breeding very long or they are hiding the truth.
Q. What is a European German Shepherd and how are they different from a regular German Shepherd?
A. European German Shepherds mean that they typically come from Germany. The European GSD is usually stockier, not as long bodied as the American bred German Shepherd and not as overly angulated. The American show shepherd is bred and built just for that, showing in the American ring. The European (German bred) GSD is bred to do all that is expected of a working shepherd. They are bred not only for conformation but to do tracking, herding, protection, agility and stamina. There is a lot more I could go into about this subject but that will be a good place for another article in the GSD Information area.
Q. Would you tell me why your puppies are more expensive than some that sell for $500.? What makes them worth more money and why is there such a difference in pricing of dogs/puppies? I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to understand.
A. As a breeder, that question would normally turn me off, but I will take the time to explaine. Our puppies are priced reasonably, take A LOT of money to properly bring into the world, and money is hardly ever made on our end. The titles, pedigrees, health clearances, and correctness of our breeding dogs validate the price of our puppies. From my standpoint, if a buyer is concerned over a few hundred dollars, how will they feel when faced with a 1000+ emergency vet bill? So for this reason, sometimes we feel it in the puppies best interest to say no to a potential buyer. We're not going to haggle/debate with a buyer over a few hundred dollars and then worry about the health and well being of our babies. I hope this helps you understand a little more.
Q. Can I pick out my own puppy?
A. When the puppies are about 6 weeks old, we encourage people to come see the litter and meet the parents/parent on the premisses. If I know that someone is looking for a certain puppy or show puppy, I will bring the puppies that fit those qualities, out first. We will try to help guide you in your selection, depending on what you are wanting from the dog in the long run.
Q. When can I take my puppy home?
A. Windläufer puppies may leave for their new homes around 8 weeks of age. Sometimes we will hold a litter a couple
of weeks longer if we need to be sure of choices for show homes.
Q. What is your deposit and would you accept payments on my puppy?
A. The deposit for a puppy from one of our litters is $300.00, it is non-refundable should you change your mind, but if circumstances dictate that you need to wait, you may roll your deposit over to another litter.
We will gladly take payments as long as the puppy is paid for before leaving Windläufer grounds. We can keep your choice here for a couple of extra weeks if need be, for a small boarding fee.
Q. Do you offer a health guarantee?
A. Yes, Windläufer German Shepherds has a health guarantee built into our Contract/Warranty. You may ask for a copy through email.